How I Introduced Saving Up To My Toddler

I would never dare claim to be financially woke at all. I’m not really that good at handling my finances. I’m still struggling up until now though I was never the type who live beyond our means. Di din ako inggitera so I would say, I'm kinda okay.

So one of the things I wanna teach my child is the value of saving up and delayed gratification. I don’t want her to think that Nanay could buy her anything, because heller! I can’t! And I also don’t want her to think that things come easy.

At a very early age, she was trained to not act up every time we visit the toy store. She knows that she is allowed to “check out” the toys but Nanay won’t buy her a toy. Or if pwede, she’s only allowed to get one and it should be within our budget.

So it’s very common for us to stay at the toy store for half an hour with her running around the aisle checking out every toy and sometimes choosing that one toy she’s allowed to buy. She also know that when we say it’s time to go, then it’s time to go.

She’s around 2 years old when I introduced the idea of saving up. She has this Jollibee coin bank and we told her she has to save up for the toy she wants. But of course, since she’s very young, she can’t quite grasp the idea of saving up yet. Maalala nalang nya na wala syang ipon pag may gusto syang toy sa toy store and I would ask her if may money sya. If her coin bank has money in it. It's a good training though because di sya magpipilit if alam nyang wala syang ipon.

But late last year, around October, she saw Legoland and Disneyland videos on YouTube and asked me to bring her to Legoland that I finally found a way to really introduce the value of saving up to her.

So how did I do it?

First, I told her that going to Legoland (it was Disneyland at first but she changed her mind) is expensive. It means riding an airplane and paying for hotels and all. Buti nalang the video on YouTube shows the entire trip with airplane ride and hotel accommodations and everything so she has an idea.

Second we gave her a piggy bank and told her she should fill it up para may pang-Legoland. So every night she would check her piggy bank to see if pwede na sya mag Legoland.

Third, because alam nyang wala kaming pera (something na paulit-ulit ko sa kanyang sinasabi because well it’s true naman, di ako mayaman sorry nalang sya) she has to save up for it. And save hard she did!

Nag-carolling sya last December and all of the money she would earn every night would go directly to her piggy bank. We made a deal that every perfect work sheet is equivalent to 1 pink money (her favorite money is the 50 peso bill kasi pink, di sanay sa pera ang #FabSkye so di nya alam ang value nun). All of the money she got nung Pasko went straight to her piggy bank. Of course, I asked her if she wants to buy toys with her Christmas instead of saving for Legoland pero nakakatuwang mas pinili nyang ipunin nalang. She would dance for us, sing for us and everything in exchange of pink money. Cleaning up her room and packing up her toys is her responsibility so wala syang bayad dun.

Sometimes lang medyo may pangho-holdup ng nagaganap because everytime may makikita syang pink money sa Tatay nya she would get it and say “This is for my Legoland diba Tatay? Please! My piggy bank is hungry.”. Hahahaha!

Fourth, we told her that she can’t buy toys because we’re saving up for Legoland. And so far since December we haven’t bought a single toy. Well except for the toys her Tatay got her for her birthday and last Christmas. Plus, that one Chelsea doll that I got her because she's looking at it longingly na parang gustong gusto nyang umiyak because she wants it but alam nyang di pwede because of Legoland. I got her the doll in exchange of massage which she happily did 3 nights in a row!

So it’s usually Legoland or toys. She would usually choose Legoland although minsan pag egg surprise na medyo mamimilit sya. Hahahaha!

So after several months of saving, tanaaaaaaann!!

Yep! Nakapuno na sya ng piggy bank. And we’re now on her second piggy bank. We told her that the money she was able to save is for the airplane ride tickets. Which we already bought. She was able to save around 9K which is enough for round trip tickets for both of us (got the tickets on super sale plus I got gift vouchers from her Tita Jin, thank God for great friends!). When I got the tickets I showed it to her as proof that we have tickets already.

Now she’s on her second piggy bank which she calls Peppa, the first green one was George, and we’re saving for Legoland tickets and pocket money. She’s extra diligent now because she already has a passport and tickets.

She would still dance and sing for us every night and would massage our back in exchange of pink money. She would also help me during product photo shoots by holding the cellphone which I use as flashlight or holding the props, again in exchange of pink money.

Ang sarap lang knowing that at a very young age, my daughter now works hard for something she really wants. And achieve na achieve ko ang delayed gratification. My heart would swell with pride everytime I’d give her money as payment for her “hardwork” and I would ask her if san nya gusto ihulog, kay Jollibee (funds for her toys) or kay Peppa (funds for Legoland) and she would always choose Peppa because she really wants to go to Legoland. I’d be very proud every time we would go out of the toy store empty handed because she knew that Nanay has to save up as well for Legoland.

Most of all, ang saya saya ko when we were able to buy tickets for Legoland using the money my daughter saved for this trip!

Bonus pa because she mastered the letters (finally!) when I told her that we can't go there if she can't read. Ayun! All of the letters she would see on the street or at the mall, ire-recite nya! Just to prove that she can identify them already and that she's ready for Legoland.

I never want to raise a spoiled brat. I want my daughter to know that she has to work hard if she wants something. I also want to make sure that she won’t grow up entitled. I am very careful with that because I grew up poor. And since I grew up poor, I have this tendency to think that I should give my child everything I didn’t enjoy growing up. Yung mga toys na di ko nabili, the clothes I wish to wear, the experiences I never had. But then again, every time I’d think about my childhood, well except for that Barbie I never had, I never felt empty. Because my Mama is there to make me feel loved. Wala man akong Barbie noon or Poly Pockets, I had toys na gawa sa lata. Madami akong paper dolls and my Mama would cut out paper doll clothes and she would play with me. So kahit na gusting gusto ko noon ng Poly Pockets, masaya na ako sa paper dolls.

I want her to grow up simple and contented. I’ll blog about how I managed to raise a low maintenance child. Promise, if you know my kid matutuwa ka how low maintenance she is. Banana Q lang masaya na! And we want to keep it that way.

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